Never underestimate the power of human connection — be it family, friendship, love, spirituality, or paint. My artist friends and I would gather in the streets, marshes, or at each other’s homes to paint. We all lived in Charleston for several years. The joke was we were the only group of women to spend our money on nude women and wine, as both were necessary to complete a figure painting in a two-hour stretch. Usually you would find one of us out on the streets with an easel and within 20 minutes, other painters would show up. We went out with the mosquitoes, no-see-ums, heat, cold, wind, and loved every minute with the canvas and the brush and the friendship.

Two years ago, that all changed. Funny how that happens with time, but we still kept up the connection and even though we live in other towns, we will meet in Charleston from time to time to visit or paint or both.

I now live in Hilton Head Island on a trawler boat with my husband. To many people that is a dream lifestyle and it pretty much is. However, our idyllic life was abruptly interrupted when I received a call from my doctor that something was showing up on my mammogram that had not been there before. Further testing proved that I had to make some tough decisions.

My husband and I had to sit down and research a lot of information in a short amount of time. One of the most formidable things on our mind was how were we going to pay for this. We do have insurance, but in order to afford it, we had to opt for a hefty deductible. At the time we got the insurance, we were perfectly healthy and had been for years. Now we were looking at the possibility of going back into the corporate world and selling our boat just to pay for the upcoming medical bills.

This is where the power of friendship shines through. 

October 6-8 of this year was the COPA, or Charleston Outdoor Painters Association, second annual Paint Out. On the last day of the paint out, there is a reception. At this reception, my dear painter friends Hilarie Lambert, Karen Hagan, and Sheryl Stalnaker offered their paintings in a raffle to help with my medical bills. I can’t say thank you enough for their efforts, but I hope they all know that if any of them need me, I will be there.

Kaytee Esser
Hilton Head


I just finished reading a Will Moredock column (“Seeking the Creative Class,” The Good Fight, Views, Oct. 19) and I just wonder if Will lives in Candyland. I haven’t seen his house on the gameboard, but he writes like a third grader and his comments are about as challenging as the kids game.

What the hell is a creative class, and are they offering night classes?   

We need more gays in South Carolina to make it a more creative class? I haven’t checked lately, but I don’t believe we’re putting up roadblocks and stopping alternative lifestylers at “South of the Border.” Do we have a shortage of interior decorators and wedding planners that I’m not aware of? He knocks the shortage of Charleston police and firemen under the scenario that this is the governor’s fault. Last I checked, Joe Riley is still mayor here in Chucktown. Isn’t that his responsibility? The whole column made absolutely no sense. Charleston and surrounding markets continue to show positive growth. Educational services are the No. 1 employer according to the 2000 census and 41 percent of this market is made up of management, professional, and related occupations. Do we need more people making beads and jewelry, singing folk songs, and drawing stick figures to make us a creative class market? Moredock harumphs and offers no solutions. That’s typical from a CFI (complete freakin’ idiot). 

There’s a new creative term I came
up with.

James Keith McLendon
Mt. Pleasant


As I was reading the article about Adam Cote’s experience with being shot in Charleston’s East Side (“Shot in the Head,” News, Oct. 19), I was sickened by the nurse who told him, “That’s what you get.” I thought one of a nurse’s primary duties was to comfort their patients. In this case, it was to judge and chastise. He or she should be fired.

Carrie McClure


With your recent Kantian declaration that Bush is the incompetent, arrogant, draft-dodging boob that 61 percent (and growing) of the nation knows he is, I thought you’d finally gotten it. Alas …

Yes, Mr. Graham, Nazis are bad (“In Defense (Sort Of) of Neo-Nazis,” Usual Suspects, Views, Oct. 19).

No, Mr. Graham, the riots in Toledo were not about Nazis, or the First Amendment, or your thinly veiled racism of how ‘there’s a whole herd of them maraudin’ black folk’ tearing up their own neighborhoods.

Toledo, like New Orleans before it, is about one thing — rage. When 98 percent of a given population thinks you suck, you’ve pissed off a bunch of people. In this — as in most things “Dubya” — it’s the poor, the underclass. (Let’s not forget Mama B’s enlightened Superdome comments.)    

When you’re angry, you lash out. It isn’t rational, it isn’t considered. I knew a guy in Los Angeles who once threw his couch out the window because his Kaypro crashed in the middle of what he later said was the greatest sentence ever written in the English language — now, none of that makes sense, but that’s rage for you.

What’s happening now is the boiling over of what Rove & Co. put to the fire in 2000 — left unattended, it will burn you. The Draft Riots, the Bonus Army, and the Civil Rights marches (to name but a few American grown anti-establishment movements) all started with the disenfranchised, the forgotten, like those in Toledo and New Orleans. All ended in neighborhoods like yours, Mr. Graham.

Eventually, like your Bush-satori, this will be revealed to you. Then you can take pen in hand and tell us what we already know — hopefully that will happen before a “whole herd of them maraudin’ black folk” shows up at your front door.

Wayne Marshall


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